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TMF89

Walleye and Sturgeon Fishing This Spring

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TMF89

Hey guys. So I've spent a couple weekends sturgeon fishing these past couple years, and heard A LOT of great things about the walleye run last year, and my buddies and I have decided that we're going to try and do as much as possible this spring. I have a boat and my roommate's family lives in Baudette, so we're planning on dropping off the boat there and coming up as many weekends as possible. Just looking for some general information. What time do you guys think the river will open up well enough to fish? I've never fished for walleyes on the Rainy before, what do you guys recommend? I was thinking just a 3/8 jig with a shiner, advice? Thanks guys.

Oh one other question. Doe anyone know if the resorts rent out just the slips that normally go along with the cabins? It'd be great if we could just rent one for two days and not have to launch the boat so much lol.

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fishuhalik

river opening varies greatly every year, but it seems the bite usually starts around the last week of march. jig with just enough weight to stay down & a shiner or chub'll get em, alot of people like ringworms too. not sure about renting a slip. try calling a bunch of resorts & see what they have to say. usually the docks arent free of ice til early-mid april though. can't wait for the first taptapSLAM of a sturgeon this year!!!!

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iceman16

Last year I rented a slip from a resort and I am having a total brain fart. It the resort just downstream from the access. Between the access and wigwam. It was nice not having to wait in line all morning.

Iceman

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fishuhalik

wheelers?

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TMF89

Just got an email from Sportsmans saying they do for $10 a night, just figured I'd share with you guys!

As far as walleye fishing goes, how deep will the fishing be? When we were sturgeon fishing it was obviously near the mouth of the river and in front of the resorts in like 30 fow, but after doing some research it seems that the recommended depth is in 6-12? How far up river from the resorts until it gets that shallow? Thanks for the info guys.

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fishuhalik

it gets shallower pretty quick after the mouth. when they're snappin just follow the bent rods! usually 10-16' is best. any kinda river structure is good. current seems & the upstream side of holes usually produce.

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TMF89

So I've heard a lot about different landings, and I'm wondering where they're at? It sounds like for the really early fishing the river isn't even fully open up, so we'll have to trailer to certain landings? How far up the river would we possibly have to go?

Also what about line? I usually use 8lb mono for eyes, but with the darker water and larger fish I was thinking about switching to braid, or going with 10lb mono or something? What do you guys think?

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Fish Tales

From Baudette going east Vidas is 7 miles next is frotier 19 miles and then is Birchdale 26 miles. Past that is Franz Jevne 28 miles. Most Rainy River junkies are looking for minimum of Birchdale to be open but would prefer frontier open. As for line what I like is 8 lb. mono. I like the feel when fighting fish compared to fireline or braid. I cant remember breaking off on any fish because of mono letting the rod and reel do the work and not over doing it. I lose more fish with fire line when I first put the wood to them mono streches fire line has no give. You dont lose as many jigs with fire line hook will bend straight.

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bigstick56

Is live bait the norm up here? Anyone ever use plastic, if so what kind? is there aloot of things to snag on the bottom? Gonna give it a try this year just trying to do some planning on tackle before hand....Thanks for the advice...

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FilledLimits

Yeah bigstick we've tried gulp alive up there a couple times it seems like when they are really biting good up there the plastics worked the best for us but when its been slow like the last couple years it almost seems like the bigger the chub (Rainbow) we put down the more we would catch. It varies every year up there for us on what bait to use and what jig color and presentation of the jig. Just bring a load of jigs and a variety of bait we usually get some Chubs and light northern suckers. Good luck I'll be up there this year also can't wait to feel a nice smack of a big walleye.

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TMF89

What weights are you guys recommending? I was thinking 3/8s and 1/2s? With the larger profile jigs like Whistlers, will I need to upsize the weight to counteract the larger profile?

On another note, I downloaded the Navionics app for my Droid, and it's pretty sweet. However I was looking at the river, and it seems like there really aren't that many holes or structure near the gap and along the resorts? Just anywhere from 25-40 fow, with very large slowly sloping holes. As far as sturgeon fishing and walleye fishing in that area, any advice? The deeper the better? I know they recommend fishing the fronts of the holes, but that's about it. If I recall, we fished everything from mid-teens to lower 30s.

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fishuhalik

depth varies. one thing you'll soon discover about river fishing is that it's really unpredictable. one day they're at 8', the next day it's 18'. just keep bouncing around & trying different structure up & down the river. if i could tell ya specifics i would but it's just not that easy. if they're in there & you put in the work you'll get em

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TMF89

Believe me I don't mind putting in the work, don't want it to be too easy lol! But what kind of structure am I looking for? Like I said all I know for rivers is holes, but I don't see too many of those on my GPS.

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fishuhalik

holes & current seems are gonna be your main structure. hole is a relative term. it doesnt have to be a major dropoff or tons of depth change. the best stuff to look for is a change in bottom after a large featureless stretch of river, like where it's 12' for a mile then there's a small hole down to 16'. those kinda places are my favorite on any river & can absolutely load up with fish.

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TMF89

Sounds good, thanks for the tips!! How are the river accesses for popularity? Like do Birchdale and Vadnis and the out of town launches get very busy?

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TMF89

Sorry for the double post, but what do you guys recommend for line? I have new 8lb Flouroclear P-Line on my reels now, but with the chances of so many big fish, I'm considering upgrading to braid. Suggestions?

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sal

Once the fishing "gets going", all of the launching spots are very popular. Get there real early or wait in line. Have your boat ready to just dump in once you are at the water and be considerate of others. Lots of help if you need or ask for it. Patience is a good thing. It'll be an interesting spring with the lack of snow. Lots of new rocks to look for if the water stays low. Personally, I'd say you are good with 8#. Its all preference though. More than likely you may encounter a sturgeon or see someone hooked up (in which case 30# is good/better) .Good Luck

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maxpower117

Quote:
Like do Birchdale and Vadnis and the out of town launches get very busy?

Not too bad. Unless you think that 1/2 mile line of boats an trailers, an hour or more wait in that line, or a mile or more walk to the access after parking your truck is considered busy.

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TMF89

Lol I've been at the Wheeler's Point access (not sure if that's the actual name, but the public access right before the gap) during the sturgeon run so I've seen how many boats can get going up there. Does anyone have any idea what time that chaos usually starts at? I'm sure there are guys out there at 4am, but I'm just wondering if there's a general time when the main crowd gets there? Like, if we get there before _a.m., we probably won't run into to long of a wait? Or is it pretty constant from early morning on?

Oh and here's another question for you guys. So my roommate is from Baudette, and we'll most likely be staying at his parents' house in their motorhome. My question is: Do you guys know if any of the accesses allow vehicles parked overnight? Specifically RVs? Lol. If we could spend the nights at the accesses that'd obviously be a huge help (as well as saving about 100 miles from getting put on the truck by driving to/from some of the further accesses twice a weekend). Now I know next to nothing about RV/camping regulations in MN, let alone in Baudette, so that's why I'm asking. We're (probably) not really looking for any actual campgrounds, unless they're pretty cheap.

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Boker001

As far as I know camping/sleeping in vehicle is not allowed at public landings. I'm sure one of the resorts would allow it for a small charge.

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TMF89

That's what I figured lol. Probably a good idea, a bunch of college guys+no supervision+booze+boat+river probably isn't a good formula for fishing success, or any other kind of success lol.

So here's a question: How necessary is a trolling motor for spring walleyes? From what I can tell the fishing is either drifting or anchoring, and I'm wondering how necessary a trolling motor is for (controlled) drifting? Reason I'm asking is because I busted the prop on mine, so that'd be another $40 I'd have to come up with in the next couple weeks. I was thinking I could use the 5 gallon bucket drift sock method as a way to control speed, but I'm wondering about staying on contours and that kind of thing. Thanks for the tips!

Oh and the boat is a 17' Fisherman Lund with a 115 Yamaha on the back. So not huge, but decently heavy.

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goose89

Unless you're gonna anchor up, a trolling motor is crucial. Current and wind and no boat control....recipe for bumper boats......not how to make friends on a busy waterway. 5 gallon bucket "drift sock" not a bad way to go on open water, but I'm skeptical how it would work on the river. Scratch up the $40, and good luck.....

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fishing-g

i am thinking that prop would be a really good idea. almost always need my troller for boat controll especially around lots of boats. besides, if you cant afford the prop you cant afford the gas, food, beer, bait food for the trip either.

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Icedemon2012

full-40147-18365-006.jpg

I caught this fish on last year on 8lb mono, let the rod and reel do the work.

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Icedemon2012

Trolling motor is a must. Drift sock is unless in the current. The sock will travel at the same speed as the boat in the current.

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